Cardinals GM on why he traded Josh Rosen: Kyler Murray is a 'generational talent'

Admitting failure is one of the hardest aspects for an executive in professional sports, especially when it comes to selecting a franchise quarterback in the NFL. Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim traded a first-round pick (No. 15 overall), a third-round pick (No. 79 overall) and a fifth-round pick (No. 152 overall) to move up to No. 10 overall and select Josh Rosen.

A year later, Keim pivoted. The Cardinals had the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and selected quarterback Kyler Murray, trading Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for a second-round selection (No. 62 overall) and a fifth-round selection in 2020. 

Keim essentially admitted failure with trading Rosen after a year, but he believes the Cardinals truly found their franchise quarterback with Murray. 

"Taking this guy no. 1, I took a lot of grief for that," Keim told The Ringer. "You have to make the tough decisions and avoid the outside noise— 'Why'd you give up on this guy? Why would you trade this guy?' … It's unprecedented. I took [Rosen] in the top 10. I just felt that [Murray] was a generational talent that I just couldn't pass up."

Murray will be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals in Week 1, the poster child for Kliff Kingsbury's version of the "Air Raid" offense. He showed flashes of that generational talent in his preseason debut last week, using his legs to have an efficient night, finishing 6-for-7 for 44 yards. Murray spread the ball and got rid of it quickly, even through the Cardinals failed to get past midfield when he was in. 

Rosen is battling for a starting quarterback job in Miami after completing 55.3 percent of his passes in his lone year with Arizona, finishing with 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 66.7 quarterback rating. He's currently the No. 2 quarterback for the Dolphins, competing with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job. 

Whether Keim made the right decision choosing Murray over Rosen remains to be seen, but he's banking his future on the decision. he may have been in the same boat if he passed on Murray in favor of Rosen, but the Murray decision will define his career as an executive in the NFL

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